Dīpavaṁsa
[The Chronicle of the Island]

V. The Schools of the Teachers

1. At the time of the Parinibbāna (which Buddha attained) at Kusinārā, best of towns, seven hundred thousand (spiritual) sons of the Jina assembled.

2. In this assembly Thera Kassapa was chief, be who resembled the Teacher, a great leader; on earth [there] is not his equal.

3. Kassapa, after having selected five hundred amongst the Arahats, taking always the most worthy ones, composed the collection of the Dhamma.

4. Out of compassion for created beings, in order to establish the Faith for a long time, he made, after the lapse of three months, when the fourth month and the second beginning of the Vassa See Mahāvagga, 3, 2. had arrived, the collection of the Dhamma.

5. At the entrance of the Sattapaṇṇa cave, in the Magadha town Giribbaja (Rājagaha), this first council was finished after seven months.

6. At this council many Bhikkhus (were present), the original depositaries (of the Faith), and who had all reached perfection in the doctrine of the protector of the world.

7. Kassapa was the chief propounder of the Dhutavāda precepts according to the doctrine of the Jina; Ānanda was the first of those learned (in the Suttas), (the Thera) called Upāli was chief in the Vinaya, –

8. Anuruddha in the supernatural visions, Vaṅgīsa in promptly comprehending, Puṇṇa among the preachers of the Dhamma, Kumārakassapa among the students of various tales, –

9. Kaccāna in establishing distinctions, Koṭṭhita in analytical knowledge. There were, besides, many other [139] great Theras who were original depositaries (of the Faith).

10. By these and other saintly Theras who had fulfilled their duties, to the number of five hundred, was the collection of the Dhamma and of the Vinaya made; because it was collected by the Theras, it is called the doctrine of the Theras (theravāda).

11. They composed the collection of the Dhamma and of the whole Vinaya by consulting Upāli about the Vinaya and learned Ānanda about the Dhamma.

12-13. Both these, Thera Upāli and Ānanda who had obtained perfection in the true Doctrine, had learned the Dhamma and Vinaya from the Jina; and, clever in the Suttas, they proclaimed what had been taught in long expositions and also without exposition, the natural meaning as well as the recondite meaning.

14. Having received the perfect word (of Buddha), the first (among doctrines), from the first (among teachers), these Theras and original depositaries (of the Faith) made the first collection. Hence this doctrine of the Theras is also called the first (or primitive) doctrine.

15. The most excellent Theravāda remained pure and faultless for a long time, for ten times ten years.

16. When the first hundred years had been completed and the second century had begun, a great schism happened, a most violent one, in the doctrine of the Theras.

17-18. Twelve thousand Vajjiputtas of Vesālī assembled and proclaimed at Vesālī, best of towns, the ten indulgences in the doctrine of Buddha, viz.: the indulgence of (keeping) salt in a horn, of the two inches, of the village and the monastery, of residences, of (obtaining) consent, of example, of milk-whey, of toddy, of silver, of seats without fringes.

19. They proclaimed (a doctrine) which was against the Faith, against the discipline, and repugnant to the doctrine of the Teacher; splitting the (true) meaning and the Faith, they proclaimed what was contrary to it.

20. In order to subdue them, many pupils of Buddha, twelve hundred thousand (spiritual) sons of the Jina, assembled.

21. In this congregation the eight chief Bhikkhus, resembling the Master, great leaders, difficult [140] to conquer, great teachers, were –

22. Sabbakāmī and Sāḷha, Revata, Khujjasobhita, Vāsabhagāmi and Sumana, Sambhūta who resided at Sāṇa, –

23. Yasa, the son of Kākaṇḍaka, a sage praised by the Jina. In order to subdue those wicked men (the Vajjiputtas), they came to Vesālī.

24. Vāsabhagāmi and Sumana were pupils of Anuruddha, the other Theras (pupils) of Ānanda; they had all formerly seen Tathāgata.

25. At that time Asoka, the son of Susunāga, was king; that prince ruled in the town of Pāṭaliputta.

26. The eight Theras of great (supernatural) power gained one party for themselves, and destroying (the doctrine of) the ten indulgences they annihilated those wicked ones.

27-28. After having annihilated the wicked Bhikkhus and after having crushed the sinful doctrine, those eight Theras of great (supernatural) power, those Bhikkhus selected seven hundred Arahats, choosing the best ones, in order to purify their own doctrine, and held a council.

29. This second council was finished in eight months at Vesālī, best of towns, in the hall called Kūṭāgāra.

30-31. The wicked Bhikkhus, the Vajjiputtakas who had been excommunicated by the Theras, gained another party; and many people, holding the wrong doctrine, ten thousand, assembled and (also) held a council. Therefore this Dhamma council is called the Great Council (mahāsaṅgīti).

32. The Bhikkhus of the Great Council settled a doctrine contrary (to the true Faith). Altering the original redaction they made another redaction.

33. They transposed Suttas which belonged to one place (of the collection), to another place; they destroyed the (true) meaning and the Faith, in the Vinaya and in the five Collections (of Suttas).

34-35. Those Bhikkhus, who understood neither what had been taught in long expositions nor without exposition, neither the natural meaning nor the recondite meaning, settled a false meaning in connection with spurious speeches of Buddha; these Bhikkhus destroyed a great deal of (true) meaning under the colour [141] of the letter.

36. Rejecting single passages of the Suttas and of the profound Vinaya, they composed other Suttas and another Vinaya which had (only) the appearance (of the genuine ones).

37. Rejecting the following texts, viz.: the Parivāra which is an abstract of the contents (of the Vinaya), the six sections of the Abhidhamma, the Paṭisambhidā, the Niddesa, and some portions of the Jātaka, they composed new ones.

38. Forsaking the original rules regarding nouns, genders, composition, and the embellishments of style, they changed all that.

39. Those who held the Great Council were the first schismatics; in imitation of them many heretics arose.

40. Afterwards a schism occurred in that (new school); the Gokulika and Ekabyohāra Bhikkhus formed two divisions.

41. Afterwards two schisms took place amongst the Gokulikas: the Bahussutaka and the Paññatti Bhikkhus formed two divisions.

42-43. And opposing these were the Cetiyas, (another) division of the Mahāsaṅgītikas. All these five sects, originating from the Mahāsaṅgītikas, split the (true) meaning and the Doctrine and some portions of the Collection; setting aside some portions of difficult passages, they altered them.

44. Forsaking the original rules regarding nouns, genders, composition, and the embellishments of style, they changed all that.

45. In the orthodox school of the Theras again a schism occurred: the Mahiṁsāsaka and Vajjiputtaka Bhikkhus formed two sections.

46. In the school of the Vajjiputtakas four sections arose, viz.: the Dhammuttarikas, Bhaddayānikas, Channagārikas, and Sammitis.

47. In later times two divisions arose among the Mahiṁsāsakas: the Sabbatthivāda and Dhammagutta Bhikkhus formed two divisions.

48. The Sabbatthivādas and Kassapikas, the Kassapikas and Saṅkantikas, and subsequently another section, the Suttavādas, separated themselves in their turn.

49. These eleven schools which separated themselves from the Theravāda, split the (true) meaning and the Doctrine and some portions of the Collection; setting aside some portions of difficult passages, they altered them.

50. Forsaking [142] the original rules regarding nouns, genders, composition, and the embellishments of style, they changed all that.

51. Seventeen are the heretical sects, and there is one orthodox sect; together with the orthodox sect they are eighteen at all.

52. The most excellent Theravāda which resembles a large banyan tree, is the complete doctrine of the Jina, free from omissions or additions. The other schools arose as thorns grow on the tree.

53. In the first century there were no schisms; in the second century arose the seventeen heretical schools in the religion of the Jina.

54. The Hemavatikas, Rājagirikas, Siddhatthas, Pubba- and Aparaselikas, and sixthly the Apara-Rājagirikas arose one after the other.

Here ends the description of the schools of the teachers.

(At the time of the second Council the Theras foresaw the following events): Here follows an account of the birth and conversion of Tissa Moggaliputta who presided at the third Council. See Mahāvaṁsa, pp. 28-33.

55. “In the future time, after a hundred and eighteen years, a certain Bhikkhu will arise, a Samaṇa able (to suppress the schisms of that time).

56. Descending from Brahma’s world he will be born in the human race, originating from a Brāhmaṇa tribe, an accomplished master of all Mantras (Vedas).

57. His name will be Tissa, his surname Moggaliputta; Siggava and Candavajjī will confer on the youth the Pabbajjā ordination.

58. Then, having received the Pabbajjā ordination and attained the knowledge of the sacred texts, Tissa will destroy the Titthiya doctrines and establish the (true) faith.

59. A royal chief called Asoka will govern at that time in Pāṭaliputta, a righteous prince, an increaser of the empire.”

60. All the seven hundred Bhikkhus, the Theras, having taught the (true) doctrine and destroyed (the heresy of) the ten indulgences, had attained Parinibbāna.

61. Descending [143] from Brahma’s world he was born in the human race; at the age of sixteen he had mastered the whole Veda.

62. (Once young Tissa thus addressed the Thera Siggava, who had come to his father’s house:) “I ask the Samaṇa a question, answer these questions (concerning) the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Sāmaveda and also the Nighaṇṭu, and fifthly the Itihāsa”; –

63. and the Thera having given his permission, he asked an exceedingly difficult question. Siggava then spoke to the youth possessed of mature knowledge:

64. “I also will ask you, young man, a question set forth by the Buddha; if you are clever, answer my question truly.”

65. When the question had been pronounced, (Tissa said:) “That I have neither seen nor heard; I will learn this Mantra, I desire to receive the Pabbajjā ordination.”

66. Leaving the narrow way of the life of a layman, the youth went forth into the houseless state and to the condition of calm, according to the Jina’s faith.

67. The disciple, desirous of learning and full of reverence, was taught the nine-fold doctrine of the Teacher by learned Candavajjī.

68. Siggava who had vanquished the young man, conferred on him the Pabbajjā ordination; learned Candavajjī taught the well trained (disciple), versed in the Vedas, the nine-fold (doctrine); (having done so,) these Theras attained Parinibbāna.

69. In the following account, some of the numbers mentioned are evidently wrong; I have preferred, however, not to correct them, since the cause of these errors may be attributed to the author as to copyists. Two years of Candagutta, fifty-eight of king Pakuṇḍaka having elapsed, Siggava having just completed his sixty-fourth year, Moggaliputta received from Thera Siggava the Upasampadā ordination.

70. Tissa Moggaliputta, having learned the Vinaya from Candavajjī, reached emancipation by the destruction of the substrata (of existence).

71. Siggava and Candavajjī taught the glorious Moggaliputta all the Piṭakas which are filled with collections referring to both (Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis) (or: [144] the Sutta collection, as it bad been settled at the two convocations?).

72. Siggava, possessed of (true) knowledge, made the glorious Moggaliputta chief of the Vinaya, and attained Nibbāna after having completed seventy-six years.

73. Candagutta ruled twenty-four years; when he had completed fourteen years, Siggava attained Parinibbāna.

74. (Siggava was) a dweller in the forest, keeping the Dhutaṅga precepts, of limited desires, attached to forest life, full of goodwill, of subdued passions, and perfect in the true Doctrine.

75. In a remote, delightful abode, in the depth of a great forest, this hero (lived) alone without a companion, like a valiant lion in his mountain cave.

Vinaya Lineage 1st telling

76. Sixteen years had elapsed after the protector of the world had attained Nibbāna, learned Upāli had completed sixty years; –

77. it was the twenty-fourth year of Ajātasattu’s (reign) and the sixteenth of Vijaya’s, (when) Dāsaka received the Upasampadā ordination from Thera Upāli.

78. The learned (Thera) called Dāsaka had completed forty years; ten years of Nāgadasa’s (reign) and twenty of Pakuṇḍaka’s (Paṇḍuvāsa’s!) had elapsed, –

79. (when) Thera Sonaka received the Upasampadā from Dāsaka. The wise Thera called Sonaka had completed forty years; –

80. ten years of Kālāsoka’s (reign) had elapsed; it was in the eleventh year of the interregnum in Tambapaṇṇi, (when) Siggava received the Upasampadā ordination from Thera Sonaka.

81. Two years of Candagutta’s (reign) had elapsed; Siggava had completed sixty-four, and king Pakuṇḍaka fifty-eight years, (when) Moggaliputta received the Upasampadā ordination from Thera Siggava.

82. Six years of Asokadhamma’s (reign), sixty-six of Moggaliputta, forty-eight (years) of king Muṭasīva had elapsed, (when) Mahinda received the Upasampadā ordination from Moggaliputta.

Vinaya Lineage 2nd telling

83. Upāli received the Vinaya from Buddha, Dāsaka received the whole Vinaya from Thera Upāli and taught it just as his teacher in the Faith (had done).

84. Thera Dāsaka taught Sonaka also the Vinaya; (Sonaka) taught it, [145] after having learnt it from his teacher.

85. Wise Sonaka who well knew the Dhamma and the Vinaya, in his turn taught Siggava the whole Vinaya.

86. The pupils of Sonaka were Siggava and Candavajjī; the Thera taught both these pupils the Vinaya.

87. Tissa Moggaliputta, having learnt the Vinaya from Candavajjī, reached emancipation by the destruction of the substrata (of existence).

88. Teacher Moggaliputta taught his pupil Mahinda the whole Vinaya, the complete doctrine of the Theras.

Vinaya Lineage 3rd telling

89. After the Sambuddha had attained Parinibbāna, resplendent Thera Upāli taught the Vinaya full thirty years.

90. This great Sage, after having made his pupil, the learned Thera called Dāsaka, chief of the Vinaya, attained Nibbāna.

91. Dāsaka in his turn made his pupil Thera Sonaka chief of the Vinaya, and attained Nibbāna sixty-four years (after his Upasampadā).

92. Sonaka who possessed the six supernatural faculties, after having made Siggava, the descendant of an Arya family, chief of the Vinaya, attained Nibbāna sixty-six years (after his Upasampadā).

93. Wise Siggava made young Moggaliputta chief of the Vinaya and attained Nibbāna seventy-six years (after his Upasampadā).

94. Tissa Moggaliputta made his pupil Mahinda chief of the Vinaya and attained Nibbāna eighty-six years (after his Upasampadā).

Vinaya Lineage 4th telling

95. Seventy-four years of Upāli, sixty-four of Dāsaka, sixty-six of Thera Sonaka, seventy-six of Siggava, eighty of Moggaliputta: this is the Upasampadā of them all (i.e. the number of years which elapsed between their Upasampadā and their death).

96. Learned Upāli was the whole time chief of the Vinaya, Thera Dāsaka fifty years, Sonaka fourty-four years, Siggava fifty-five years, the (Thera) called Moggaliputta sixty-eight years.

97. Prince Udaya reigned sixteen years; when six years of Udayabhadda’s reign had elapsed, Thera Upāli attained Nibbāna.

98. The ruler Susunāga reigned ten years; after eight years of Susunāga’s reign Dāsaka attained Parinibbāna.

99. After Susunāga’s (Kālāsoka’s!) [146] death the ten brothers succeeded; they reigned all jointly twenty-two years. In the sixth year of their reign Sonaka attained Parinibbāna.

100. Candagutta reigned twenty-four years; after fourteen years of his reign Siggava attained Parinibbāna.

101. The son of Bindusāra, illustrious prince Asokadhamma, reigned thirty-seven years.

102. When twenty-six years of Asoka’s reign had elapsed, the (Thera) called Moggaliputta, after having exalted the splendour of the Religion, attained the end of his life and reached Nibbāna.

Vinaya Lineage 5th telling

103. Learned Thera Upāli, a great teacher, attained Nibbāna seventy-four years (after his Upasampadā), after having made his pupil, the learned Thera Dāsaka, chief of the Vinaya.

104. Dāsaka attained Nibbāna sixty-four years (after his Upasampadā), after having in his turn made his pupil, Thera Sonaka, chief of the Vinaya.

105. Sonaka who possessed the six (supernatural) faculties, attained Parinibbāna sixty-six years (after his Upasampadā), after having made Siggava, the descendant of an Arya family, chief of the Vinaya.

106. Wise Siggava attained Nibbāna seventy-six years (after his Upasampadā), after having made young Moggaliputta chief of the Vinaya.

107. Tissa Moggaliputta attained Nibbāna eighty years (after his Upasampadā), after having made his pupil Mahinda chief of the Vinaya.